Road test: Range Rover Evoque

Posted on May 30th, 2016 by James Luckhurst

There are more practical SUVs, but the Evoque is very desirable.

Road test: Range Rover Evoque

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What is it?

Since its 2011 launch, the Evoque has become Land Rover’s fastest-selling vehicle. With an updated engine range, it now offers improved economy and lower emissions.

How safe is it?

The Evoque comes with a good standard safety spec including stability control, front, side, knee and overhead airbags, as well as full-LED adaptive headlamps.

Who should buy one?
If you are looking for a mid-sized SUV the Evoque stands out in a crowded market. It’s near the top in terms of cost but you get what you pay for.

Road test by Andy Turner published 28 May 2016

 

 

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Road test: Range Rover Evoque

The reality is that hardly any of these very capable off-road focused vehicles will ever see a lick of mud, so we opted for a manual two-wheel-drive model, one that might feel a bit more at home around London where it spent its week with us. Despite negativity in the press about the manual gearbox, we found it suited the car perfectly and felt rugged and direct while being perfectly geared for city driving. Matched with two-wheel drive and the new 2.0-litre 150hp Ingenium engine, this means it emits just 113g/km of CO2 and edges towards a real-world 50mpg around town (against a claimed 56.5mpg on the urban cycle).
The Evoque is immediately rewarding to drive and despite a 0-62mph time on paper of more than 10 seconds, it feels spirited and never a slouch. The four-cylinder 150hp ‘Ingenium’ engine (that has been designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK) perfectly suits the car. It is smooth, punchy and a world away from its older 2.2-litre predecessors. A more powerful 180hp engine is also available but the increased emissions and lower mpg don’t necessarily justify the cost when the 150hp engine is this good.
It’s quiet too, much quieter for example that a Volvo XC60, and the fact you are driving a diesel barely registers.
In terms of design, even today the Evoque turn heads. The new model has some subtle changes including larger air intakes, bonnet vents and tailgate spoilers adding to the already sporty appearance. To the eyes of this reviewer, it remains one of the most unique and beautiful cars on the road. Inside feels special too, where the hexagonal design features continue and the attention to detail, as with the exterior, is staggering. Materials and build quality are as good as it gets in this price range.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Road test: Range Rover Evoque

Inside, the Evoque is nice and roomy for four normal-sized adults, with plenty of legroom up front and a decent amount of legroom for those in the back. However, the sloping roof means those who end up in the back seats do lose out on headroom, and will feel cramped.
A large number of Range Rover buyers have young families and the five-door model (a three-door and convertible are also available) would be a no-brainer choice. An infant car seat fits just fine and doesn’t compromise the front seat passenger, but once you shoehorn your pram or pushchair into the boot, you might want to consider a roof box. Despite Land Rover quoting a generous 575-litre capacity, in reality plenty of rivals are more practical. Going away for the weekend then requires you to decide between the pram, bags or the family dog.
Again though, the attention to detail won us over, with very well thought out storage spaces and cupholders available around the cabin.

SAFETY
Road test: Range Rover Evoque

2016 brings advanced safety technology including Lane-Keeping Assist to the Evoque’s already five-star rating from Euro NCAP. Autonomous Emergency Braking is designed to prevent or greatly reduce the severity of accidents in the event of the driver failing to take preventative action, by identifying potential hazards ahead, sounding a warning and applying the brakes if necessary.

EQUIPMENT
Road test: Range Rover Evoque

There are several levels of trim. We had the SE Tech; this came with a long list including stop/start technology, heated front windscreen and washers, electric mirrors with illuminated graphics that light up the ground when you open the door, 18-inch alloy wheels, tyre pressure monitoring, heated front powered seats, a touchscreen system and a DAB radio.

COSTS

Road test: Range Rover Evoque

We managed an average of 47mpg in our test; this was a mix of city driving, motorways and the never-ending Easter weekend queues. Not bad at all, but less than the 65.7mpg average claimed by Land Rover. The entry-level models are well priced considering the levels of quality and equipment. They also have good residual values. A three-year warranty is included.

WE SAY
There are more practical SUVs, but the Evoque is very desirable.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £32,600 as tested
Performance: 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds
Economy: 65.7mpg combined
Insurance: Group 30
Tax: Band C (£30)

Figures for Evoque 5-Door 2.0 eD4 manual